Blog For A Cause

Published Date
01 - Jan - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Jan - 2006
Blog For A Cause
A wonderful example of how useful the Internet can be, a blog has it all-from being an online confessional diary to becoming a platform to rave and rant, and critique and praise any and every subject under the sun. And if bloggers were to utilise some of their free Web hosting space to promote a worthy cause, it just could help someone in need.

Espousing a social cause on a blog allows a blogger to do just that: a blogging contest in aid of cancer awareness has been launched in Chennai. To participate, bloggers need to put up content on their blogs supporting the 'Can Conquer Cancer' initiative. You can find the contest at conxw/ican/. 

What It's About
The contest was started by Muralikrishnan R, CEO of Quicksilver, a placement agency. The idea of a blog contest to promote awareness came to him after the tsunami of 2004. He says about it, "The blogging circuit came alive like never before to mobilise resources for the tsunami-hit regions and get help. I realised that blogs can make a real difference in spreading awareness and help dispel myths-in fact, the use of a blog can achieve much more than an e-mail or Web site based campaign."

An avid blogger himself, Muralikrishnan also manages the promotional work of Connexions, a popular departmental store in Chennai. Connexions, which is a major sponsor of the blogging contest, recently joined hands with the Rotary Club of Chennai Metro to promote the "Can Conquer Cancer" programme.

 Murali further adds, "We believe that there's an upside to any challenge, so when it comes to spreading awareness about cancer, we wanted to get everyone involved. Essentially, we want to spread the message that cancer can be conquered, and get everybody to do their bit.

"Our efforts aim at infusing a positive attitude among bloggers and readers and providing hope to those battling the disease".

Can Conquer Cancer
The contest, which began on 28 November 2005, is still on. As the Connexions site states, "Blog a smile, Blog a while, Blog whatever you feel like, but just remember your writing could help someone conquer cancer. Lend a healing touch to your imagination and watch how far your keyboard strokes can go towards motivation and support."

The theme of the contest is "Can Conquer Cancer." Entries can be in prose or verse and must be 500 words in length. The content must be motivational. It  can be a personal or a second-hand experience, and has to be original work. Even photo-blogging, provided the photograph is original, is permitted.

log on to connexionsonline come to participate in the 'Can Conquer Cancer' blogging contest

With only one entry per blogger, the contest is open to bloggers worldwide. However, blogs have to be in English. Participants are required to include any of the "i-CAN" banners available on the Connexions site to show their support to the initiative.

Blogs can make a real difference in spreading awareness and help dispel myths
Muralikrishnan R

Entries will be judged for originality, content, style of language and the message they portray. A seven-member panel of judges including four bloggers and three non-bloggers will review and rate contest entries. And five winning blogs are slated to receive various prizes including a USB 128 MB podcast device, 350 MB of hosting space, T-shirts, music CDs, dinner coupons, and more.

Moreover, all entrants will have their blogs featured on the popular online While contestants retain the intellectual property of their posts, Connexions will use the entries as a hyperlink, feature them, or just display them on the Connexions or any other partner sites.

The Response
The Connexions site recorded over 40,000 hits within the first week of the contest being announced. Some entries are poignant-more so the ones that include reminisces of the experience of cancer patients the participants personally knew. Other entrants have composed inspirational poems, narrated incidents, and even drawn sketches, all revolving around the theme of combating cancer.

Smitha N, a blogger based in the UK, says, "I have lived through the life of someone who faced the Big C, and I saw her emerge though pain in such a gallant, beautiful and smiling way. So, I can empathise with and feel the importance of this initiative. More importantly, I learnt that the big C is not that big after all. That was the moment I decided to celebrate life. I am sure this initiative will bring a few smiles to those diagnosed with cancer, and pass the message that they 'can'-and emerge unscathed!"

Another participant, Prabhu Karthik, a software professional, posted, on his blog, a first-person account of family members and close friends suffering from cancer.

Karthik says, "I believe blogs provide a platform to write about certain events that spur you to write about them in the first place. The reason I decided to enter the competition was not for the prizes, but the fact that I would get a chance to create awareness about cancer. There's a possibility that an online search on cancer-related issues could lead to my blog. And if users read my posting   on cancer and are benefited by it, in terms of information, I would consider my work done."

Muralikrishnan mentions that in the future, Connexions will try to promote other issues such as AIDS awareness and child abuse through more blogging contests. In this way, such contests would give bloggers an insight into the pain and suffering of fellow humans, and help prevent and curtail that by creating awareness.

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